I boarded an Amtrak bus bound for Santa Barbara from Jack London Square in Oakland, California at 10 PM on Monday night. At 6 AM Tuesday morning, we reached our destination, where I hopped on an Amtrak train for another three hours to Los Angeles. By 9:30 AM, I was sitting on the Metro line, which brought me to the final destination of my trip, and the mecca of the video game world: the LA Convention Center, and E3 2014. My excursion to the big show this year means I can scratch yet another to-do item from my bucket list, and I couldn’t have been happier with the experience. E3 is a whirlwind of people, lights, music, games, and food that is a sight to behold. Another 11-plus hour trip home, I’m barely awake and anxious to write about my time at the show.
A year ago, I would have been sitting at home enjoying the festivities from afar like most readers of this site, so I’ve decided that it was time for an everyman to give the real lowdown on the E3 experience. Which is ironic, because the assemblage of people at E3 looks predominantly like a swarm of, well, everyday people. If you’ve ever been to a comic book or anime convention, you’d feel right at home on the E3 floor. Nerds (I say this with love) of all shapes, sizes, and stripes flitted from booth to booth, while big wigs zipped around in suits, shuttled from one private VIP area to another. Even Nintendo had a section of its booth reserved for special guests. Gaming journalists, media representatives, guests of all kinds (I mean it– from veterans to trust fund kids), booth attendants, and more besides all intermingle in what can only be described as controlled chaos.
The booths themselves range from astonishing to underwhelming. The mammoths of the industry like Nintendo and 2K pull out all the stops with over the top displays and light shows, while some of the smaller outfits find themselves with humble stalls and business cards. I got a kick out of visiting the Kemco stall; their attendants were genuinely happy to hear that I’d heard of their company and had played their games! They even gave me an awesome Kemco paper fan that will have a place of honor amongst my gaming collectibles. On the opposite end of the spectrum, companies like Capcom have enormous interactive displays for fans to take photos with. A gigantic Monster Hunter 4 set piece sat in one corner and was genuinely jaw-dropping.
My one gripe, though: hardly any swag! I went with a duffle bag in anticipation of awesome free stuff, and I hardly got anything! I worked my tail off to win a Smash Bros. T-shirt at the Nintendo booth, but to no success. Still, I was more than happy with my Splatoon mini-squid charm and huge Sonic Boom shoulder bag. Of course, there’s the thing that you all really want to know about, and it’s the games. Games are the bread and butter of E3, as you well know, and I got my hands on more than I can even list. In the coming days, I’ll be delving into the time I spent playing Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Super Smash Bros. 3DS, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and much, much more.
So please, keep your eyes tuned to Nintendojo for more E3 previews than you can shake a stick at. I got my hands on just about every title a Nintendo fan could have questions about, and will be dishing on everything. Beyond that, though, like I said, I want to share this with the real people who play games! As such, feel free to totally drop me any questions you have about the show (wait for specific game questions as I write up individual titles!), and as ever, thank you for reading Nintendojo!